In today’s pop culture, there are many references to violent behavior in a normalized way that the youth consume and normalize in their own adult lives, creating a cycle of violence.
One example is aggressive lyrics used in songs such as Ice Cube’s “Straight Outta Compton” as it emphasises hatred against the Police Force while seeking revenge, causing violence against violence. This song is consumed through the radio and the movie series that made it even more well-known. Another is popular female rappers such as Cardi B and Nicki Minaj who use lyrics that promote a female against female dynamic, often citing violence over the attention of a male or Eminem and Rihanna’s hit song “Love the Way You Lie” making abusive relationships normal in situations that become violent. We have decided that in order to stop the normalization of aggressive lyrics in pop songs, parents should more actively pay attention to these messages that aren’t being fully digested by our youth and try to limit the levels of blind consumption.
In today’s society, media has a huge influence over younger kids who have access to this kind of language. They consume this language and blindly repeat it without acknowledging the full connotation. This also perpetuates our society because our children are grown into adults still using these words. Now more than ever, kids are frequenting systems like Instagram, Fortnite and other outlets. In order to stop this cycle, we also need to limit the amount of social media our kids consume and bring into their adult lives.
Adults also consume amounts of aggressive, racist and sexist commentary through advertisement. Examples can be seen in Carl’s Jr.’s and Calvin Klein Ads. In different fast food ads, models are used to sexualize different food products in very erotic ways. Dolce & Gabbana ads have also been guilty of using images related to gang rape and rape culture in our society. Since this is so common in advertising, we are more likely to view it as standard because of the desensitivity that we experience from it. The ads that are producing these explicit images are bigger, more well known therefore, are being excused for their actions solely due to their economic and social influence. In order to stop this creation of violence in advertisement, the consumers need to hold the creators responsible for their actions to change the narrative in advertisement.
Allegra Colasuonno, Leah Kovach and Esmé Riordan
Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus